The harsh winter predicted for many parts of the UK may see up to one in five airline passengers delayed it’s been predicted.
Met office forecasts suggest that we’re about to suffer the worst winter in five years and the disruption to flights is expected to rise accordingly.
The number of flights greatly increases over the Christmas period as people head for warmer climes or travel to visit family and friends, but the cold, wintry weather may lead to a few people arriving late for their turkey.
According to flight data released by the Civil Aviation Authority, over three thousand flights that either entered or left the UK last winter were delayed for more than three hours. The expectation is that these figures will be much higher this season.
It is a common misconception (often perpetuated by the airlines themselves) that bad weather can always be classed as “extraordinary circumstances”, therefore making the airline exempt from having to pay compensation to passengers.
When confronted with claims for compensation, airlines regularly claim that they can’t be held accountable for bad weather and are therefore not responsible if it leads to flight delays. However this misses the point of the law, which asks the question “was it out of the ordinary, and if not, it should have been anticipated by the airline, who should then have taken appropriate measures to combat its effects.”
The following are examples of “weather related issues” where the airline may still be held responsible for any resulting delays or cancellations and therefore be liable to pay compensation:
• Weather conditions which are not defined as ‘freakish’ or ‘wholly exceptional’
• Bad weather affecting an earlier flight, which then has a knock on effect , causing delays to later flights.
• Lightning striking an aircraft
• A technical problem that prevents an aircraft from operating in bad weather
• Problems with de-icing equipment
If your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours, you may be able to claim flight delay compensation even if the airline is telling you that is was caused by a weather related issue.
Why not take a look at our claim calculator here and see if you’re eligible to claim flight delay compensation. It only takes a minute!